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Don't write off ageing Ronaldo yet, says Raul

Real Madrid legend Raul expects Cristiano Ronaldo to play a pivotal role in LaLiga's title race during his eighth season in Spain.

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Raul with Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo remains as influential as ever to Real Madrid even though he has adapted his style because of age, according to club legend Raul.

The 32-year-old has enjoyed another fruitful campaign at Santiago Bernabeu, netting 26 times in all competitions and capturing the 2016 Ballon d'Or during his eighth season since moving to Spain.

Ronaldo is increasingly being used as a centre-forward, a position previously occupied by Raul before his Madrid departure in 2010. 

And Raul, the club's all-time leading goalscorer until Ronaldo eclipsed his 323 strikes in 2015, says the Portugal captain continues to impress despite perhaps being past his physical peak. 

"He has won the Ballon d'Or and had a good season so far," Raul said to Kicker.

"The decisive time of the year is coming now and good players have to prove themselves. I expect him to be in a very good shape. 

"He is playing closer to the box, which is more difficult. But please - he has still got his potential. 

"Maybe he doesn't have the pace that he used to have, but that would be normal in his age. And maybe he might not have won as many one-on-one-duels as he used to, but be careful - he has spoiled us too much in the past."

Raul is not a fan of debating whether Ronaldo or Barcelona star Lionel Messi is the superior player.

"Football isn't an individual sport, it's all about the team, the success you have with your team," he said.

"I like both, but what Ronaldo did for Real as the record goalscorer, scoring more than 50 goals each year, is absolutely amazing."

Real Madrid are two points clear of Barcelona at the top of LaLiga with a game in hand ahead of a trip to face Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

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